(If this video doesn’t work blame Dandy Tiger.)
How are you keeping it real?
Delric Miller IV died in a hail of bullets a month ago. When someone fired 37 AK-47 rounds into his Detroit home at 4:30 a.m., he was mortally wounded while dozing on the couch. He was nine months old. No one made the multicolored teething ring he got for Christmas or his toy hammer into a national symbol of random violence.
Last year, Charinez Jefferson, 17, was shot and killed on a Chicago street. “She begged the shooter not to shoot her because she was pregnant,” a pastor explained. The alleged assailant, Timothy Jones, 18, shot her in the head, chest and back after seeing her walking with a rival gang member. New York Times columnist Charles Blow did not write a column about Jefferson’s killing as a symbol of the perils of being a young black woman in America.
Everything about the Trayvon Martin case is a matter of contention. About this, though, there should be no doubt: If Martin had been shot by a black classmate, if he had been caught in a random crossfire, if he had looked at a gang member the wrong way, his death would have been relegated to the back pages of the local newspaper. Not a cause, not even a curiosity: Just another dead young black man. Nothing to see here. Please, move on.
Jesse Jackson is right that “blacks are under attack.” According to a 2005 FBI report, blacks accounted for 13 percent of the population and 49 percent of all homicide victims. In 93 percent of the cases, the killer was black. Half of the victims were ages 17 to 29. That works out to 4,000 murders of young blacks in one year, overwhelmingly at the hands of other blacks. In the communities where these killings occur there is, to put it in Jackson’s inimitable terms, no justice and no peace.
There is no comparable epidemic of half-Hispanic neighborhood-watch volunteers like George Zimmerman shooting young black men. Nor is there an epidemic of cops doing the same. Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute notes that in New York City, there were nine civilian victims of police gunfire last year, whereas there were “several hundred black homicide victims in the city, almost all shot by other blacks or Hispanics, none of them given substantial press coverage.”
An allegedly racially motivated killing, though, gins up the outrage machine in a way the routine murder of young blacks doesn’t. Cable-TV outlets get to host fiery debates. Chin-stroking commentators get to urge more “dialogue.” Black leaders get to relive the glory of a civil-rights cause that won its major victories decades ago when it took real courage to be on the front lines. And everybody gets to evade the intraracial mayhem that blights the country’s inner cities.
If you agree with Mr. Lowry you must be a racist. I’m not quite sure why, but you must be.
Kids in this country can’t play in their own front yards because their parents are terrified that some child molester will kidnap them. But statistically the children are far more at risk with someone they know and trust, like a neighbor, teacher, someone at church, a coach, family friend or family member. That’s not to say that stranger abductions don’t take place, but statistically they remain rare.
Despite the impression you might get from the media, white on black violent crime is rare. Black on black crime is epidemic. Just look at the music industry. How many hip hop artists have been killed in recent years? How many more were involved in gun-related incidents? There is nothing comparable in any other genre of the music industry. Wikipedia even has a page of murdered rappers.
Part of the problem is a culture that glorifies crime and violence. Tupac Shakur had “Thug Life” tattooed on his stomach. It was still there when he was shot and killed on the Las Vegas Strip along with Biggie Smalls. Now Rihanna has it tattooed on her knuckles. This culture not only glorifies crime, it sanctions covering for the perpetrators. Lil’ Kim went to prison for perjury when she lied to cover for her friends who were involved in a shooting.
So who is to blame for black on black violence? More importantly, what is the solution?
There’s a reason liberals are freaking out about the Supreme Court this week.
If part or all of the health care reform law is thrown out, a central goal of the progressive project will have been dealt a possibly fatal setback. The dream of universal health care — pursued for decades, frustrated again and again — that seemed finally to have come to fruition in 2010 will have been derailed before it could even be fully implemented. For liberals and their allies, it will be a crushing blow from which there is no easily foreseeable recovery.
“It would be a particularly bitter pill to swallow to get [health care reform] all the way through the legislative process and, because of the partisan leanings of five people who happen to be justices of the Supreme Court, not get universal health care,” said Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and a former Obama administration adviser who helped see the bill through Congress.
Opponents of the law agree: This is universal health care’s Waterloo.
“This was their one big shot. They certainly thought so. They pulled out all the stops,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a conservative economist and president of the American Action Forum, which has filed court briefs in opposition to the health care law. Already, he said, the law was on shaky ground. “The vast public rejection of the law, its broad unpopularity, the fact that so many Republicans were elected on it in 2010, the fact that so many states are rejecting it — really, it wasn’t looking strong,” he said.
Through all that, liberals took solace in the fact that at least the legislation was on the books, moving inexorably toward implementation; eventually, they were convinced, Americans would grow used to the new system, come to depend on it, and become unable to imagine life without it.
I really love the idea that Obamacare is the realization of liberal dreams. Liberals wanted single payer. But my favorite part is the idea that people would learn to love it. That was what my step-father said about broccoli.
Forget the legal arguments. Obamacare is the most unpopular legislation ever enacted, and it hasn’t even taken effect yet. Even its supporters wanted something better. If it is upheld it will be an albatross around Democratic necks for a generation. Democrats should be grateful if SCOTUS saves them from themselves.
King Barack’s loyalists are threatening one of the last roadblocks to the absolute right of POTUS. Earlier in his reign they were advising that He should ignore Congress and act as He pleased. Now they are trying to undermine the independence of the Supreme Court.
Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic:
Before this week, the well-being of tens of millions of Americans was at stake in the lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act.
Now something else is at stake, too: The legitimacy of the Supreme Court.
Nobody knows how the justices will rule. And nobody can know, not even the justices themselves. On Friday morning, perhaps by the time you read this, they will meet privately to take their first vote. More often than not, this first vote determines the final verdict. But there are exceptions and Anthony Kennedy, on whose decision the outcome presumably depends, has a reputation for long deliberation and changes of heart—particularly in major cases like this one.
That’s good. With the result apparently in doubt—smart money still says the chances of the full law surviving are about 50-50—Kennedy should think long and hard about how he wants the Court to rule. So should Chief Justice John Roberts, who appeared more skeptical of the government’s case during oral arguments but nevertheless indicated that he, like Kennedy, understood the government’s premise—that health care was a special market, perhaps requiring special intervention.
If that concern is not enough to sway the chief justice, than perhaps his frequently professed concern for the court’s respectability will.
Even now, I have trouble wrapping my mind around what I saw in the courtroom this week and what a majority of the justices may be contemplating. Kennedy’s second question, the one that so unnerved supports of the law, was whether the government had “a heavy burden of justification to show authorization under the Constitution.” But the heavy burden in this case is on the justices threatening to strike down health care reform. They have not met it.
Rarely in American history has the Court struck down laws in decisions that would have such quick, widespread impact. In the modern era, only two cases come to mind: Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade. Both were acts of ambitious, even audacious judicial activism. But, in two key repsects, they were different from a potential ruling against the Affordable Care Act.
Brown was a unanimous, nine-to-zero decision. Roe was a lopsided seven-to-two. These margins mattered: The justices knew that their decisions would be controversial, in part because they were overruling democratically elected majorities—in these cases, state legislators who’d passed laws enforcing segregation and prohibiting abortion. The justices’ authority in these cases derived, in part, from their moral authority. A closely divided bench would have made that impossible.
Virtually everybody agrees that a vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act would be five to four—a bare majority. And it would be a bare partisan majority, with the five Republican appointees overruling the four Democratic appointees. The decision would appear nakedly partisan and utterly devoid of principle. Appearances would not be deceiving.
That’s an interesting idea – requiring super-majority or unanimous decisions before the Supreme Court can rule that something is unconstitutional. Cohn is not alone – the Obot meme of the weak seems to be that SCOTUS is risking its own legitimacy if it dares to declare Obamacare to be unconstitutional.
The Judiciary branch is supposed to be an independent and co-equal branch of government. For good or ill, many SCOTUS decisions through history have been nakedly political. Nonetheless, we consider SCOTUS to be the final arbiter and court of last resort. In the words of the late Justice Robert H. Jackson, “We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final.“
The issue as to whether Obamacare is constitutional is not frivolous.
Marbury v. Madison (my emphasis):
This original and supreme will organizes the government and assigns to different departments their respective powers. It may either stop here or establish certain limits not to be transcended by those departments.
The Government of the United States is of the latter description. The powers of the Legislature are defined and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken or forgotten, the Constitution is written. To what purpose are powers limited, and to what purpose is that limitation committed to writing, if these limits may at any time be passed by those intended to be restrained? The distinction between a government with limited and unlimited powers is abolished if those limits do not confine the persons on whom they are imposed, and if acts prohibited and acts allowed are of equal obligation. It is a proposition too plain to be contested that the Constitution controls any legislative act repugnant to it, or that the Legislature may alter the Constitution by an ordinary act.
Between these alternatives there is no middle ground. The Constitution is either a superior, paramount law, unchangeable by ordinary means, or it is on a level with ordinary legislative acts, and, like other acts, is alterable when the legislature shall please to alter it.
If the former part of the alternative be true, then a legislative act contrary to the Constitution is not law; if the latter part be true, then written Constitutions are absurd attempts on the part of the people to limit a power in its own nature illimitable.
Those of you who stayed awake in civic class may recall that Marbury v. Madison is that case that established to concept of judicial review in American jurisprudence. There is a reason that federal judges and justices are appointed for life (subject to impeachment) – to remove them from the effects of politics. What King Obama and his minions are trying to do is apply political pressure to the court.
Back in 2000 I was stunned and dismayed by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bush v. Gore. But at the same time I took pride in the way my country reacted. We peacefully but unhappily accepted the ruling and moved on. How many nations would have seen bloody riots or even civil war in the same situation?
The Supreme Court slowed down but did not stop the New Deal and the Civil Rights Movement. Even now the Democrats are just one vote shy of a 5-4 majority. Do we really want to change a system that has worked so well for so long just for Obamacare?